Despite its permanent place in your bathroom cabinet, toothpaste can help with cleaning more than just your teeth. In fact, toothpaste is quite handy in all the other rooms in your house, too. Here are a few ways you can get your money's worth out of each and every tube of toothpaste you buy — and save yourself some money on cleaning supplies in the process.
1. Deodorize Containers
Yes, toothpaste makes our mouths minty and fresh — and that's why it's a great way to eliminate gross food odors from containers and thermoses. There are no special steps necessary; simply use it in place of dish soap while you're washing. Toothpaste can also get rid of raunchy-smelling hands after you've been cooking with onions, garlic, fish, or curry.
2. Remove Water Rings
If you're one of those people who likes every guest to use a coaster, we totally get it. But as every hostess knows, people tend to forget — and if you're tired of wasting your breath, let them set their cups wherever and clean up later. You can do this by gently scrubbing with white, non-gel toothpaste and a soft microfiber cloth to easily remove water rings off of wood furniture. But be careful: A heavy hand could damage the finish.
3. Lighten Grout
"Toothpaste is magic," says Adriane Richardson, co-author of the mommy blog One Lucy Pickle, who used whitening toothpaste and a toothbrush to bring her dark aged grout back to its original light gray color. It's that simple! Sure, it takes some grunt work, but if you're worried about getting tired, you can always use an electric toothbrush to speed up the process. (Just be sure to use a rag to wipe up the excess toothpaste mess as you go, because dried-up toothpaste is harder to clean up.)
4. Shine Chrome
Toothpaste can have a gritty texture, which makes it perfect for shining chrome. Just apply a dime-sized amount of regular, non-gel toothpaste to a damp cloth and rub the toothpaste onto the chrome. Don't lather it on; just give it a nice, thin, and even layer. Then buff the chrome clean with a dry cloth until it shines. This tip also works well on rusty silverware.
5. Remove Crayon From Walls
When the kids get a little wild with the crayons, don't panic: A bit of toothpaste will clean their creative scribbles right off the wall. Just grab a tube of non-gel toothpaste and a scrub brush, squirt the toothpaste on the wall, and start scrubbing. Once you're finished, rinse the wall with water, and bam! Your artists's canvas — er, we mean wall — will be good as new.